Adjacent to a bustling retail corridor resided a small neighborhood center and sea of parking. Tucked approximately 22 feet from road grade, there was no engagement with the street, and the site sat in opposition to the pedestrian-oriented community that surrounded it. When AvalonBay approached KTGY with the opportunity to take this underutilized site and transform it into a sustainable and connected mixed-use residential building, architects had to immediately overcome the challenge of what to do with the current use. Innovative thinking drove the adaptation of the center into the first level of the parking structure that serves as the podium base for the new residential buildings. Three additional levels of parking and 38,500 square feet were also added. Placing the parking structure on the edge of the site that sat below road grade and bringing the new retail up to ground level allowed architects to deliver a building that engages the street and connects to the current Towson Town Center mall. Three different pedestrian and vehicular entry points promote easy access from all sides of the building, which dramatically transformed the area into a pedestrian oriented urban environment.
Architectural designers brought the energy from the street upward with iconic and vibrant architecture, which contributes to the area’s up-and-coming urban identity. To create a standout presence, the massing expresses the program’s complexities as a series of interlocked elements that relate to the site’s scale and geometry. The design of Avalon Towson has contributed to the success of the downtown corridor by creating more pedestrian walkways, increasing retail and creating a vibrant urban environment.
When entering the building, residents and guests flow into the multi-story residential lobby space with a leasing center, library, workspace and lounge areas framed by a serrated storefront façade and triplestory arched accent wall. An abundance of workspaces allows residents to form connections as well as work or study in either private or shared spaces. The units mirror the exterior with a minimalistic design, which allows each resident to make the space their own. Residents can rent a transformable workfrom- home desk that fits into the living space. When closed, the unit offers a flat surface to mount the TV; when it is open, it reveals desk space, drawers and an abundance of shelving. This provides an opportunity for residents to work or study from home within their units. With the opening of the community falling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual tours allowed leasing to begin and fill up by the time the surrounding retail opened back up, making the area an oasis for university students, locals and new residents.
Owner | Developer: AvalonBay Communities
Interior Designer: BKV Group
Landscape Architect: Studio 39
Civil: Bohler Engineering
Structural: SK&A Engineers
Mechanical | Plumbing | Electrical: NORR LLC (Environetics)
Photographer: Sam Kittner
Apartments | Retail
Number of Units: 511 du
Site Area: 1.4 ac
Retail: 38,500 sq. ft.
Number of Stories: 9
Residential Parking: 690 spaces (1.5 sp./unit)
Retail Parking: 527 spaces (4.4 sp./1,000 sq. ft.)
Construction Type: III Podium